THE EAST COAST OF PORT PHILLIP BAY, CHAPTER 3, DROMANA TO ROSEBUD.
We continue our journey to The Heads.
Having just lost 150 minutes worth of text through careless clicking, I will have to abbreviate this entry. Dromana celebrated its 150th in 2011 but 18-8-2006 would seem to have been a more appropriate date. The township of Dromana was proclaimed in 1861 but many township blocks were sold on 18-8-1856. The buyers on that date included Commander Ross, William Dixon Scurfield and W.McRea*.
The township map can be accessed online:
Township of Dromana, Parish of Kangerong, County of Mornington ...
Township of Dromana, Parish of Kangerong, County of Mornington [cartographic material] / drawn and reproduced at the Department of Lands and Survey, ...
Note the suburban blocks accessed by way of Tower Hill Rd. Captain Adams (discussed later) owned 36 acres near the summit.
The township of Dromana stretched west from McCulloch St to Burrell Rd. The section of Dromana east of McCulloch St was part of section 1,parish of Kangerong. The coastal blocks in section 1 extended south to the "main road",Palmerton Ave. William Grace, who established Gracefield in 1857, bought most of these coastal blocks, with Samuel Rudduck, Nelson's father, buying Karadoc in 1858.
Commander Ross is the subject of one of my journals. William Dixon Scurfield built Scurfield's Hotel(later the Arthurs Seat Hotel) between Permien and Foote Sts. In 1864 it was described as having 9 rooms. Dromana's other hotel, the Dromana had 12 rooms by 1864. The latter was built by Richard Watkin*** on the western half of crown allotment 5, section 1, Kangerong, the other half being owned by Peter Pidoto.
Dromana's growth was caused by timber-getting on Arthurs Seat. Peter Pidoto** carried timber (piles, beams, sleepers) around the bay on his vessels with the assistance of employees such as Robert Rowley (who will be discussed later.) When Mornington got its pier, Dromana residents (who claimed they had a bigger population)were most irate but were told that without a municipality, they would have to raise the money themselves.Robert Caldwell,(subject of one of my journals) who established "Dromana Hill" in 1859, never gave up and was eventually successful.
* W.McRea was Victoria's first chief medical officer.
Biography - William McCrea - Australian Dictionary of ...
William McCrea (1814-1899), medical administrator and naval surgeon, was born on 14 October 1814 in County Tyrone, Ireland. His father died before William
** Peter Pidoto did not ply only in the bay and was known to sail as far as Warrnambool, taking his chances with the Rip. The Phoenician probably replaced Peter's first vessel. Little Angelina most likely replaced the Phoenician;it was wrecked as the Woolamai after he had sold it. Peter's wife,living in Clifton Hill,was still rated on the 17 acres west of Carrick Drive in 1910 as well as unsold lots in Dromana's Railway Estate. Mrs Frances Pidoto of Queens Pde, Clifton Hill, was assessed in 1919 on the Railway Estate land and c/a 2,3 section 16, c/a 2 section 18 of Dromana Township; Peter had bought several township lots in 1864 and soon afterwards.
04/03/1881 Phoenician (+1881) wreck
PHOENICIAN; Ketch; Length: 16.4 m.; Owned by P. Pidoto, Dromana; Built at Benjamin Fairhall in 1852. Registered at Melbourne. Registration no. Melbourne 32/1865. On 04 March 1881, PHOENICIAN (Peter Pidoto) with a cargo of not known, was lost after capsizing. see wreck
(PHOENICIAN KETCH 1852-1881 - WRECK WRAK EPAVE WRACK PECIO www.wrecksite.eu/wreck.aspx?57256)
*** I must confess to supplying Ray Stella of the Dromana Hotel with incorrect information. The place mats that Ray had printed must now be in hundreds of homes as very few are left. What Colin McLear actually stated in A DREAMTIME OF DROMANA was that the Dromana Hotel was built in the 1850's and that Richard Watkin was credited with building the first house in Dromana, as distinct from Kangerong,in 1857. I had taken this,in my early days of research, to mean that the Dromana Hotel was built in 1857. The following article shows that Scurfield's was the first hotel in Dromana and that Richard Watkin was running it.
The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) Wednesday 21 April 1858 p 6 Article
... George Williams, Fletcher's Hotel, Haw- thorne. Granted. Richard Watkin, Scurfield Hotel, Dromana. ..
As mentioned at the start of this entry, it was Arthurs Seat and its timber that was responsible for Dromana's rapid growth. Unfortunately, only Colin McLear has written much about the timber getters and those who hauled it to vessels. He hints that many of these men were Irish, accounting for the township's name. John Bryan lived in a hut just east of Gracefield near the summit and the track through the town common was called Bryan's Cutting.(See Melbourne Brindle's map.) He was known to have been in the area by 1860 because when Mary Ann McLear moved into Maryfield in that year, Bryan moved into The Willow (on the Survey just west of the drive-in site.) He later moved closer to his work. John Bryan cut piles, slabs,sleepers,beams and firewood.
No saw mills have been mentioned before Alexander Shand's at Main Ridge, decades later, so those early timber- getters used the splitting wedge, pit saw and perhaps the adze to square their timbers, just as Henry Tuck had done for the Arthurs Seat homestead in about 1843. Thomas and Charles Rymer,recalled by a Safety Beach street name,were probably involved in the early timber-getting but mainly worked at building fences, such as at Maryfield for Charles Graves before the McLears bought it and Arthurs Seat Park in the 1870's. Jonah (Doan) Griffith, Charles Brown,Thomas Tyler (perhaps an ancestor of Rye's Vic Tyler)and Jose Reman were other involved in supplying timber, some also supplying wattle bark for tanning leather.
George McLear, Henry William Wilson and Charles Dyson were three bullockies known to be operating by 1864. McLear and his brothers were Dromana's first butchers until they gave it away and were replaced by Wilson, whose son Godfrey hugely expanded the business. Their work was not easy either. Tracks to the coast through the forest would have had to be blazed and you can't drive a dray over stumps.Loading was another problem with no pier available. I quote from page 89 of A DREAMTIME OF DROMANA.
PETER PIDOTA. (This is how the surname appeared in rate books from 1864 until 1919, so we can hardly blame Colin! I didn't twig until I failed to find mention of Pidota in trove.)
Peter seems to have had a thriving water transport business operating from the Dromana beach,his craft carrying the varied forest products to Melbourne and other shores of the bay. These craft, of very shallow draught, came almost to the shoreline for loading. Bullock teams waded out to them to effect the transfer of fire-wood,post,rails, shingles, slabs, sleepers, piles and wattle bark. On October 16,1864, George McLear supplied Peter with 94 feet of blackwood,the timber so prized for the manufacture of fine furniture.
While looking for Captain Adams' advertisement re his 36 acres fronting Arthurs Seat Rd near the summit, I discovered another Captain who carried Arthurs Seat firewood from Dromana to Melbourne. It seems that his ship suffered the same fate as Captain Billy Moore's vessel, co-owned by William Henry Blakeley of Red Hill, but with no survivors.
Three weeks or a month ago, a small schooner, the Cousins, Captain Irving, left Dromana with a cargo of firewood for Melbourne, two young lads being on board with him. The trip should have been made in one or two days, but nothing has been seen or heard of schooner, captain, or boys since. Captain Irving was one of the oldest and most experienced captains in the port. He leaves behind him a widow in distressed circumstances and two young children. An appeal has been made to the public in this case, and has met with some response.
(P.1s, Argus, 18-8-1873.)
ARTHURS SEAT RUN.
This run was taken up by Andrew McCrae in 1843 and was taken over by the Burrells who purchased the pre-emptive Right in 1851. The following description of the boundaries was given when McCrae renewed his lease.
On the north by Mr Jamiesons special survey 4 miles, on the west by
the coast line of the bay to the nose of the mountain called St Anthonys
Nose, from thence along the Cape Schanck road to the Drumdunnuallock
creek being the boundary line with Mr Barker, and on the south by
the creek to its source, thence by a line bearing east to a point where
the continuation of the eastern boundary of the said special survey
meets the said line, the large waterhole below the bald hill being in
common with the Mt Martha run; also that piece of land between the
Cape Schanck road and the sea, commencing near the rocks or the Point
known as St Anthonys Nose, and ending at the creek* at the junction of
the Point Nepean and Cape Schanck roads, nearly opposite the end of
the paddock fence. (Pages 311-312, I SUCCEEDED ONCE.)
*Adams Creek which approached the bay shore where The Avenue is today.
If you can make sense of the above, you've left me for dead. Determining the southern and eastern boundaries rely on the "source of the Drum Drum Alloc Creek". I believe that the creek which flows over Kings Falls has been confused with the Drum Drum Alloc. This creek starts in "Sea Winds" and the line east from the "source" may have been approximately Arthurs Seat Rd which met a "continuation of the Eastern boundary of the Survey "(Bulldog Creek Rd.) This continuation today is Junction Rd and the n-s part of Red Hill Rd. The line east from the source and the continuation south of the Survey's eastern boundary later were used as the boundaries between the parishes of Kangerong and Balnarring, the latter separating the central and East Ridings of the Shire.
No wonder there were so many disputes about Run boundaries!
CAPTAIN HENRY EVEREST ADAMS.
The time of the old sea-dog's arrival is shrouded in mystery as is the "Village of Wannaeue" which was mentioned once, in 1877. Adams folklore maintains that he was granted 750 acres FOR CARRYING CONVICTS*, which he clearly wasn't but as he came into ownership of the majority of Crown Allotment 20, Wannaeue, this may have been some sort of pre-emptive right. An Adams family historian maintains that he must have arrived after the Burrells bought the Arthurs Seat pre-emptive right in 1851 but the Run description above does not seem to include 20 Waanaeue. The Captain was supposed to have beached his ship in 1841 or thereabouts and used its timbers to build his house (on the McCrae car wash site.) Today's Wattle Place became known to all as Adams' Corner.
*Ticket of leave men were brought from Van Diemans Land in about 1841 to solve a severe labour shortage.
The strange thing was that the house that Captain Adams built was on crown allotment 20 of the parish of Wannaeue, which must have been reserved in early days as the site for a village. It was between The Avenue and the line of Parkmore Rd. Yet it was not crown allotment 20 land on which he was assessed in the first Kangerong Roads Board assessment of 1864. He was the owner of 191 acres, which was crown allotment 19, between Parkmore Rd and Adams Avenue, the next block west. This was granted to Issac White who was involved in an indenture with Captain Adams regarding a property at Port Melbourne. (Document in the possession of Harvey Marshall, an Adams descendant.) The captain also owned 36 acres in the Township of Dromana (Melway 159 E-F11)fronting Arthurs Seat Rd, McLear Rd and Arthurs Seat Park and, for a shorter time, 56 acres in the parish of Nepean bounded by Diamond Bay Rd, Melbourne Rd, the ends of Tullyvallin Cres/ Hartley Crt, and the coastal reserve.
The 1877 advertisement (in italics below) seems to indicate that Captain Adams had settled on the peninsula in 1857 but it is possible that Isaac White, grantee of crown allotment 19, Wannaeue, had settled there in about 1850 to look after Eliza while Captain Adams traded to places such as Singapore where they couldn't get enough of his potent Vivyan Vineyard wine, which Robert Rowley Senior said would have you climbing telegraph poles after a glass or two. Eliza would not have been the only wife waiting for her seafaring husband to come home; Mrs Newby, housekeeper for Jamieson on his special survey, waited many times,but in 1845 accompanied her husband and three of her daughters perished. (See article under the SAFETY BEACH heading.)
IN the SUPREME COURT of the COLONY of VICTORIA : In its Probate Jurisdiction.-In the Will of JOHN COCKBILL, late of Little Bourke-street West, in the City of Melbourne, in the Colony of Victoria, Publican, Deceased.-Notice is hereby given,that, after the expiration of fourteen days from the publication of this notice, application will be made to this honourable Court, in its Probate Jurisdiction,that PROBATE of the LAST WILL and TESTAMENT of the said John Cockbill, deceased, may be granted to Henry Everist Adams, of Vivyan Vine-
yard, near Dromana, in the said colony, the sole executor named in and appointed by the said will.
Dated this twentieth day of March, 1873.WILLIAM HUGHES, 13 Bourke-street west, Melbourne, proctor for the said Henry Everist Adams. (P.7, Argus,21-3-1673.)
At Twelve O'Clock Noon At the Rooms, Corner of Swanston and Little Collins Streets.
VALUABLE COUNTRY PROPERTIES.
PARISH of WANNAEUE,
Near Dromana, Close to Arthur's Seat, on the Main Road to Sorrento, Farm, of 191 Acres, with Weatherboard House. Also,
PARISH of KANGERONG,
Adjoining Dromana park, and Close to tho Residence of Professor Hearn,
TWO GOVERNMENT ALLOTMENTS, Containing in All 36 Acres.
To Parties Requiring a Delightful Marine Residence, Squatters, Merchants, Capitalists, and Others.
BYRNE, VALE, and Co have received instructions from Captain Adams (who is retiring after a residence in the district of 20 years) to SELL by AUCTION, at their rooms, on Tuesday, March 20, at twelve o'clock noon,
The following valuable properties :
WANNAEUE, Near Dromana.
That valuable farm containing 191 acres, being Government lot No 19, subdivided into seven paddocks, partly laid down in English grasses, substantially fenced with post, rail, and wire, and having a bay frontage of nearly half a mile ; orchard, garden, and vineyard containing 2000 vines all in full bearing, with a comfortable weatherboard house containing 10 rooms, out-houses, &c.; brick tank holding 4000 gallons.
Crops to be removed or taken at a valuation. The auctioneers beg to call attention to tho above property, the land being good for cultivation, well timbered, and permanent water. Inspection invited.
KANGERONG, Adjoining Dromana-park.
Two Government allotments, being Allotment 5 of Section D and Allotment 6 of Section D, containing in all 36 acres, close to tho resldence of Professor Hearn.
Title, Crown grants.
(P.2, Argus, 20-3-1877.)
The 36 acres eventually passed into the ownership of Dromana's Nelson Rudduck but in 1879 Henry Everest Adams was assessed on both properties (as well as 61 acres in crown allotment 20, while his son, Robert, was assessed on 20 acres and a house*.)
* Crown allotment 20 had been alienated a year or so earlier, with the Adams family acquiring most of the land west of Wattle Rd. Robert had probably persuaded his father to leave the house as Robert's wife refused to live with the hard-drinking former mariner. Henry moved to live with his friends, the Mullens of South Melbourne.
NOTICE is hereby given, that after the expiration of fourteen days from the publication of this notice application will be made to the Supreme Court of the Colony of Victoria, in its Probate jurisdiction,
that PROBATE of the LAST WILL and TESTAMENT of HENRY EVEREST ADAMS, late of Vivyan Vineyard, near Dromana, in the colony of Victoria, land-owner, deceased, be granted to Eliza Adams,of Vivyan Vineyard, near Dromana aforesaid, the widow of the said deceased, and sole executrix named in and appointed by the sold will.
Dated this 7th day of November, 1881.HUGHES and MICHIE. 53 William-street, Melbourne, proctors for the said Eliza Adams. (P.3, Argus, 7-11-1881.)
FOR SALE CHEAP 191 ACRES of LAND,
Wannaeue, near Dromana, all fenced, divided into six paddocks, good grass and permanent water, beach frontage 600 fruit trees, 2000 vines, all bearing. 10 roomed house, brick,* tank, stables, &c. Sold in consequence of death of Mr Adams. No reasonable offer refused. Apply Mrs. E ADAMS, Wannaeue, near Dromana.
(The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) Tuesday 13 December 1881 p 12 )
The 191 acre block did not sell and passed into the ownership of the captain's son, Robert Adams, who sold it to a land developer circa 1889. The land bisected by Rosemore Rd was subdivided but the developer soon became insolvent,the land south of South Rd, and unsold blocks, reverting to Adams. Parkmore was built in about 1896 by Albert Holloway.
Much more information is available about the captain and his descendants. In 1860,it is probable that along the coast from Anthony's Nose to TOOTGAROOK STATION, the only houses were (today's)McCrae's Cottage, a four roomed house and workmen's huts on crown allotment 17* (bounded by the beach road, Jetty Rd, Eastbourne Rd and the linr of Norm Clark Walk)and perhaps huts on the foreshore erected by crewmen of The Rosebud who may have decided to use a boat from the stranded vessel in May 1855 to try their luck as fishermen.
*The advertisement doesn't say crown allotment 17 but I'll bet you any money that it is!
TUESDAY, 10th MARCH~
Parish of Wannaeue, Arthur's Seat.129 Acres.
Four-roomed Cottage, Men's Huts,fronting Hobson's Bay, and within Thirty Miles from Melbourne by Water, and Forty-five Miles by Road.H.A. COFFEY, for F. E. Beaver and Co., is instructed to sell by auction, at
their rooms, 30 Collins-street west, on Tuesday, 1oth inst., at eleven o'clock, 129 acres superior agricultural land, having a large frontage to Hobson's Bay, and described in the Government plan as having water at a short distance from tho surface ; together with a neat cottage containing four rooms and a garden ; fruit trees, fenced in. From the great rise in tho value of property in this locality, tho healthful air and the beautiful
scenery, there can be no doubt but that this opportunity offers a fair chance for profitable investment to
the small capitalist, or would be admirably adapted for a marine residence.
The water is sufficiently deep in shore to admit the landing of provisions and goods close to the frontage.
(P.2, Argus, 5-3-1857.)
In ROSEBUD:FLOWER OF THE PENINSULA, Isabelle Moresby mentioned Maori fishermen living at Rosebud and I thought she was mistaken,thinking of the Maori Farm at Rye. However, a year or so past, I found that she was right. Although this incident happened quite a while after 1850, I will include it here in case I never find the article again.
Mr. Candler held an inquest on Wednesday, at Tootgarook, on the body of Patrick Wee Wee, a Maori fisherman, living at Rosebud, aged 30 years. On the 27th inst., Senior-constable Lyons was directed to the body of
deceased on the beach, between Rye and Dromana, it having been taken thereby two young men who saw it in the water. There were no marks of violence, and from the froth and blood coming from deceased's nose he appeared to have been drowned. On Sunday evening, the 20th inst., deceased was heard to agree with four young men sup-
posed to be Richard Knott, Richard Barry, Richard Abbott, and Richard Betwright, stonemasons, employed by Mr. Muir, contractor, at the Quarantine, to convey them in his boat to the Quarantine-ground. All the young men were sober, but the deceased was not quite sober. Shortly afterwards the five left, and were never seen on shore again. About 10 minutes after they were last seen on shore, a gust of wind suddenly sprung up from
the westward, the weather having been quite calm previously. Deceased could manage a boat well and was a good swimmer. On the afternoon of the 20th, Christian Miller, a seaman who was on board the fore-and-aft schooner Result, anchored off the pier at Tootgarook, heard a voice calling, and about 150 yards to the westward saw a man whether white or coloured he could not tell, clinging on a boat which was upset and drifting towards Rosebud. Miller was attending to the schooner, there being a heavy squall, and could give no assistance, and the boat and man drifted out of sight. The schooner was about half a mile from the pier, and the storm had risen very suddenly. The deceased's boat had never turned up, but the oars had been washed ashore, and the four young men had never since been heard of. The jury stated that deceased was found drowned, and that they believed he was accidentally drowned during a squall while conveying passengers to the Quarantine-ground on Sunday, the 20th inst. (P.5, Argus, 31-12-1869.)
Richard Barry's body was later found and an inquest was held.
Mr. Candler held an inquest on the 6th inst. at Tootgarook, on the body of Richard Barry, aged 18 years. Deceased was a mason, employed at works on the Quarantine-ground, and on the 20th ult. he was last seen arranging with a Maori to sail across to the Quarantine. The boat went, and deceased and three others who went in her were never seen again, a storm having sprung up. The Maori's body was washed up shortly afterwards. The body of deceased was discovered on the 3rd inst., much bitten about the face, hands, and left thigh by fishes, but deceased was identified by his clothes. It was found about a mile from Rye, on the beach. A verdict of accidentally drowned was returned. (P.6, Argus, 11-1-1870.)
on 2013-09-08 23:08:19
Itellya is researching local history on the Mornington Peninsula and is willing to help family historians with information about the area between Somerville and Blairgowrie. He has extensive information about Henry Gomm of Somerville, Joseph Porta (Victoria's first bellows manufacturer) and Captain Adams of Rosebud.